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Old 05-23-2011, 12:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I am starting a different thread rather than continue the discussion on the Torrey's avalanche thread. Someone died there and that thread should be about the victim.

I did get some POV, you can see the fracture break just above me. The split second before the break I had decided to head towards the rocks after realizing there was a lot more snow than I thought. That probably saved Cody and myself from serious injury, even death.



We did a lot wrong, but just enough right. It didn't take long for me to pull the plug after that. Though the descent back from where we came was not much easier.

I still believe reading about accidents and learning from them is the best thing you can do to avoid getting caught. We definitely got caught up in the fact that it was late season and the day before was much more stable. Things had changed radically overnight. Not going to make this mistake again.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Ugh. Definitely glad you and Cody were okay. Poor pup is like, "Uh... what the FUCK was THAT?! That was NOT supposed to happen!"

Question regarding the video, was that rock that looked to be the trigger exposed or completely hidden under the new/windblown snow? To me, hidden triggers sketch me out more than just about anything in the BC.
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Old 05-23-2011, 01:40 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I think it was buried. The fracture went a long ways behind me.

I am not 100% sure if that was the weak spot. I was the trigger. No doubt about that. I also did go where the snow is more shallow, which if course is weaker snow. I was also more confident I could dig in in that area, which I was able too. If I had of center punched it, I'm sure the rug would have been ripped.

Keep in mind, it was cold up there. None of the daytime heating stuff that you usually associate with rocks, trees, and such making the snow more brittle. Not saying it didn't contribute, but I think it had more to do with the wind loading and the convexity right there.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:09 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killclimbz View Post
I think it was buried. The fracture went a long ways behind me.

I am not 100% sure if that was the weak spot. I was the trigger. No doubt about that. I also did go where the snow is more shallow, which if course is weaker snow. I was also more confident I could dig in in that area, which I was able too. If I had of center punched it, I'm sure the rug would have been ripped.

Keep in mind, it was cold up there. None of the daytime heating stuff that you usually associate with rocks, trees, and such making the snow more brittle. Not saying it didn't contribute, but I think it had more to do with the wind loading and the convexity right there.
Gotcha. Makes sense. It would be interesting to see it from an angle other than POV. What did the rest of the group say? Did they see it fracture?
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:15 PM   #5 (permalink)
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They definitely saw it move. Though as you can see visibility really sucked. Yelling out Slab or slide, whatever it was, definitely got them tuned in.

No film other than what I got unfortunately. It would be nice to see it from a different perspective. Again, really wish we just had of gone to Bert and ridden the trees. That would have been fantastic.

Here's the trap though. We've been doing that all freakin' winter and generally speaking, you are not messing with trees at this date. Everything is nice, stable, and storms in May don't put down more than a foot total. This storm as it turned out put down close to 30 inches total. Heuristics will get you killed if you don't pay attention.
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Old 05-23-2011, 02:26 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Not as far as I would have liked. There was a rock ridge that hems in the skiers left side of the chute we were going for. It probably ran only another 20 yards below me tops. I could see that there was a ton of loaded snow below me that was ready to go. That is why I pulled the plug instead of going down the chute. It wasn't cleared out by the slide. I didn't get over and look at the skiers left side of the rock ridge. That may have run larger and further. The white conditions made that less of an option, as you would have next to no visual acuity on that side. In the chute we were going to do, you had rocks on either side giving it definition.

So as far as avalanche size goes, this may have been a class 2. I think it was enough to bury a person if caught in it. Certainly enough to carry. A large class 1 at the very least.
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Old 05-23-2011, 03:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, at least you were smart enough and approached with caution. If you'd dove in there charging that might've been bad.
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Old 05-23-2011, 09:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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damn kill crazy vid. glad u and cody are ok!
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Old 05-24-2011, 10:30 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I can't view the video because I'm at work.. I spent Sat morning hitchhiking the pass, Alot of overnight snow (maybe 11 or 12'') It was a awesome day below the treeline. Not to mention they shut the pass down at around 10 or 11 am to any traffic but allowed us to stay. I went back yesterday morning and it looked as though they blasted alot.

Anyway I'm glad to here that your okay!
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Old 05-24-2011, 09:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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It would've killed me to see the woof get hurt. Keep him safe!
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